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1 Emerging Technologies and a Sustainable, Healthy, Just World Will our Genetically Modified Grandchildren Use Nanotech Nets to Harvest Cloned Fish on.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Emerging Technologies and a Sustainable, Healthy, Just World Will our Genetically Modified Grandchildren Use Nanotech Nets to Harvest Cloned Fish on."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Emerging Technologies and a Sustainable, Healthy, Just World Will our Genetically Modified Grandchildren Use Nanotech Nets to Harvest Cloned Fish on a Geo-engineered Planet?

2 2 Marcy Darnovsky, PhD Associate Executive Director

3 3 Human Biotech, Nanotech, Synthetic Biology and More Friday, Nov 6 (here and now!) Policy, Politics & What Funders Can Do Friday, Oct 23 Introduction to the Challenges & Opportunities

4 4 Appropriate emerging technologies (some need to be handled with care)

5 5 Emerging technologies of concern

6 6 Converging and emerging

7 7 International agreements World Health Organization

8 8 Other countries The United Kingdom

9 9 Jurgen Habermas "The breadth of biotechnological interventions raises moral questions that are not simply difficult in the familiar sense but are of an altogether different kind." Political philosophers & scholars Michael Sandel “Changing our nature to fit the world, rather than the other way around, is the deepest form of disempowerment.” Dorothy Roberts “Selecting children’s abilities, sex, or race…can reinforce an unjust value system that privileges some over others.” George Annas “No individual scientist or corporation has the social or moral warrant to alter or endanger the human species.”

10 10 Paul Hawken “It is not an exaggeration to compare human germline engineering with nuclear technology. While the horror of atomic weapons is the destruction of human civilization, the shadow cast by engineering Homo sapiens is the obliteration of what it means to be a human.” Environmentalists

11 11 Literature and film Margaret Atwood “Very soon, RejoovenEsense hoped to hit the market with…totally chosen babies that would incorporate any feature, physical or mental or spiritual, that the buyer might wish to select…”

12 12 Growing awareness and concern Women’s health orgs Environmentalists Scientists & physicians Progressive religious bodies Disability rights orgs Racial justice orgs Human & civil rights Indigenous peoples LGBTQ groups Health & science CSOs World sports community Bioethicists Civil liberties orgs Patient advocates

13 13 International NGO conference

14 14 Think tanks and publications

15 15 Policy and advocacy groups

16 16 What is to be done?

17 The Tarrytown Initiative Tarrytown House Estate and Conference Center The Tarrytown meetings will address the promises and challenges that new human biotechnologies and related technologies pose for a healthy, just and sustainable human future.

18 18 David H. Guston Professor of Political Science Co-Director, Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes Director, Center for Nanotechnology in Society Arizona State University 18

19 19 Anticipatory Governance, I “Competent social scientists should work hand-in-hand with natural scientists, so that problems may be solved as they arise, and so that many of them may not arise in the first instance.” Anticipate: from ante- and capere, “to take [into possession]” “beforehand”; related to capable and capacity and not a synonym for “expect,” “predict,” or “foresee” Detlev Bronk The pumpkin or the tiger? If science is puzzle-solving, when do we begin to pay attention? 19

20 20 Anticipatory Governance, II Not government but governance Not “do” or “ban” “Science finds, genius invents, industry applies, man adapts” Moratoriums proposed by ETC Group and Friends of the Earth Wide array of mechanisms Licensing, restrictions Liability, indemnification Intellectual property Testing Treaties Public Understanding of Science (formal, informal) Public engagement Public action 20

21 21 Anticipatory Governance, III Four capacities (research & practice) 1.Foresight Because all governance requires some disposition regarding the future 2.Engagement Because public engagement is crucial normatively, strategically and even pragmatically 3.Integration Because scientists know things the rest of us don’t, and because they don’t know things the rest of us do 4.“Ensemble-ization” Because none of these work in isolation 21

22 22 Foresight u/nanofutures/ –Literature-based –Vetted –Web- disseminated Scenario development workshops Product design 22

23 23 Engagement National Citizens’ Technology Forum Science Cafes NISE Net –Informal Science Education –Forums 23

24 24 Integration Socio-Technical Integration Research (STIR) Education/Training –PhD+ –DC Summer Session –Curricular Undergraduate Graduate 24

25 25 Another Asilomar? Foresight: What vision of future did scientists at Asilomar have? Determinist (“these things are coming, like it or not”) Distancing (“we don’t have the ability to do this now so we don’t have to consider this stuff”) Engagement: To what extent was the public involved in the discussions? Not at all (by invitation GRC) Contrast: Cambridge city council hearings Integration: To what extent were social science and humanistic expertise represented in collaboration with natural science and engineering expertise? Attorneys and journalists played crucial role Ad hoc decision-making processes 25

26 26 Menu of Potential Activities Genies…bottles…questions… Capacity Building –Across sectors Academic For Profit NGO Governmental –Both producers and consumers Institutions and knowledge systems –US, cross-national, developing Academic –Research –Training For Profit –Practices/decisions –Responsibility NGO Activities –Public understanding/engagement –Convening “Ensemble-ization” –Connecting capacities within sectors –Connecting capacities across sectors More than happy to continue the conversation and get feedback 26


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